The race is on! Now that everyone’s beloved Uncle Joe Ratzinger, also known as ”Benedict,” has stepped aside, leaving the Papacy for a comfortable dotage on Vatican property, where he shall remain blissfully shielded from criminal prosecution for the rest of his days, someone (male) will wield the sceptre and wear the mitre!
Who will win the title “Most Powerful Catholic on Earth”?
We can’t say. All we know is that it will be someone who thinks the best way to raise poor people out of poverty is to deny them birth control.
Unfortunately, we’re not eligible to vote. For that you have to be a Cardinal under the age of 80. We qualify on only one count. But we do have a rooting interest, a hometown interest you might say. Our man from Los Angeles is eligible and he should be the next Pope of the . . . → Read More: Endorsement: Cardinal Roger Mahony for Pope!
Guns are not the problem. People are not the problem. Young people are the problem.
They don’t listen. They play awful video game simulations of mass murder. They shoot six-year-olds.
And no amount of background checks or ammo-clip restrictions will change that. There’s only one way to solve the gun situation, one way to bring peace and civility back to our public areas while also not trampling on our inalienable American right to bear arms (as outlined with great clarity in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America).
The maintenance of civil order in our fragile society rests on a rock solid foundation of family discipline. A child who disrespects his parents must be removed from society. Permanently. So that other children will see the importance of respecting their parents.
The only political solution left to the fundamental problems in our society . . . → Read More: A Modest Proposal For Solving Our Gun Violence Problem
We attended a Bat Mitzvah the weekend before the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was announced in Gaza. The service was held at a reform Jewish temple, a thoroughly modern place of worship where men and women are permitted to sit together, where the cantor accompanies himself on a djembe drum.
The ceremony was part celebration and part reflection, with much singing and much English. The Bat Mitzvah girl was showered with encouragement and kindness from a loving audience. It was an altogether uplifting experience — except for one thing.
During the sermon portion, the Rabbi delivered a commentary on the then-developing situation in Gaza. A partial transcript:
O God, who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this day. Bless our brothers and sisters in the state of Israel. Protect them from all trouble and anxiety. May you . . . → Read More: Picking Sides from the Pulpit
In the days preceding the storm of the century, two candidates running for President of the United States strenuously assured voters that they would pump more crude, frack more natural gas, and burn more coal than the other guy. Whether or not an energy policy built on a fossil-fuel paradigm could or could not be sustained wasn’t discussed, at least by Messrs. Obama and Romney, who proudly reiterated their fealty to the oil and mining companies that sign the checks. Virtually every other candidate for President –the ones who weren’t members of the Democratic or Republican crime syndicates, such as Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party — characterized our looming environmental disaster as the biggest threat facing America, not terrorism or the national debt, as the Military-Industrial complex would like us to believe.
To . . . → Read More: Climate Change, Clean Coal, and Dirty Propaganda
Having witnessed recently the horrible ramifications of causing offense, we’re hyper-aware of not offending anyone, You especially. So if “God” is an inappropriate form of address, we humbly ask forgiveness of You and Your agents here on Earth, the ones who steadfastly protect Your name and reputation.
We settled on “God,” because that seemed the most general name to call You. But if what You really prefer is “Allah,” “Yaweh,” “Elohenu,” “Jesus,” or something newer and more specific, we trust You’ll let us know. Give us some sort of sign – if You’re into that kind of thing these days.
So, assuming we’re cool with the name business, may we ask You in Your infinite wisdom to help us understand something?
No, not what happens after death! Or what we’ve got to do here in this life to join You in the . . . → Read More: An Open Letter to God
Apologies in advance if this gets all Orwellian right quickly. We try hard not to sound like a nut-job or Coast-to-Coast Radio conspiracy fetishist — is that redundant? — especially when examining the lengths some folks will go to control the lives of others, but this stuff is real, man.
Old George – or, Mr. Eric Blair, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing – coined the term “doublespeak” to describe a fictional phenomenon in his novel 1984. But we repeat: this stuff is real, man.
What’s in among the dictatorial set? The new Hot Trend in authoritarianism is controlling the future by not permitting dangerous thoughts about the future.
The urge to purge cuts across demographic categories. The crazy Muslims are just as wacko as the crazy Christians, and it’s not just benighted foreigners doing the oppressing, it’s benighted domestics, too.
In Morocco, a . . . → Read More: Speak the Truth?
A daughter has died.
She was also a wife and a mother and a sister. She was 41. She follows to the grave a brother, who died in a car accident when he was 18.
What does one say to her parents? How flimsy and impotent words seem in the face of these outrages, when the natural order of life has been confused and perverted. For anyone who hasn’t suffered the incomprehensible losses this family has endured, it seems preposterous to offer comfort and encouragement. What qualifications or insight could we have? Only they, we imagine, fully understand the intense grief that accompanies the death of a young son. And now the pain of losing an adult daughter. It’s really almost too much for words, too much for any parent to bear.
I have no explanations. I have no answers. I don’t understand. No doubt . . . → Read More: On the Death of a Child
As Thomas Jefferson did in the 1700s, let us set aside the Bible’s confounding melange of mythic mysticism, foggy mumbo-jumbo and confusing contradictions. Instead, let us concentrate on the principles that a dangerous Jew from ancient Nazareth was willing to die for. Let us behave less like the charlatans who organize their businesses around lost souls and more like Mr. Christ himself.
Let us put the Christ back in Christianity.
Love thy brother. Love thy sister. Take care of each other. Recognize the divine spirit in the humblest receptacle.
Then we’ll celebrate.
Justice has been done! The U.S. Military’s pernicious ongoing discrimination against heterosexuals has been outlawed.
Now it’s all out in the open. Now straight people won’t be the only (majority) group permitted to suffer unimaginable indignities, grievous disfigurement and injuries, and painful death while protecting the business interests of those richer than they. Now straight people won’t be the only victims of propaganda that makes war seem like a really cool video game. With the repeal of the noxious “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, now gays too may be conned into believing they are heroes for sacrificing their lives in overseas police actions that provide security for no one but arms manufacturers, oil producers, and corrupt tribal politicians.
Some of our more courageous Christian brothers and sisters — like the ones brave enough to stand up for God at military funerals, reminding the parents of . . . → Read More: Gays in the Military